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back to article Antarctic ice sheet melt 'not that unusual', latest ice core shows

The latest ice-core analysis from the Antarctic shows that nothing unusual in terms of melting is occurring. In research published yesterday, a large team of scientists used a deep ice core from the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide to produce records going back some 2,000 years. Their analysis shown that recent melting in that …

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Coat

Forty three feet! Golly.

Any news on the altitude of the Greenpeace HQ ?

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Re: Forty three feet! Golly.

If they're bright it will be a floating HQ. But it better be a long way away from the French if it is.

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Go

Re: Forty three feet! Golly.

LMAO @Matthew !!

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Alert

Re: Forty three feet! Golly.

"... London, Bangkok and New York, Shanghai and Mumbai will be among a number of cities which will eventually end up below sea level ..."

And this is a bad thing?

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@Eadon Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

Thank you for bringing the same reasoned arguments to this debate that you do to OS related threads...

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Re: @Eadon Cold winters, Wet summers

It's a good argumnet but it is missing something... something to do with Penguins.. missed an open goal there...

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Holmes

Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

yep, as far back as Julius of the clan Julia. You know, the Roman geezer who made the remark, "Does it ever stop raining in this wretched place" or words to that effect in latin after invading the roman wild west, some hell hole called Britain.

You do know CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas compared to DiHydrogen Monoxide ?

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Joke

Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

Reminds me of Carry on Cleo:

"Hail, Mark Antony!"

"Hail - snow, rain, thunder, lighting - the lot!"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

@Denarius - CO2 is between 9% and 26% of the greenhouse effect, hardly minor as you suggest. It's also the one which we can realistically do more about as well.

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Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

Have a point for getting Dihydrogen monoxcide in.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

9-26 percentage uncertainty. My, that's a global thermocalypse error-bar Professor Emeritus Al Gore could drive a truck through.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

@DanR2 - That's between 9 and 26% at any one instance in time, it's very humid the water vapour contributes more, because there's more of it, if it's less humid the CO2 contributes more. It's a measurement per volume of air.

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Happy

Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

But I like the current weather trend, for anyone who doesn't like warm weather it's been wonderful :)

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Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

"That's between 9 and 26% at any one instance in time, it's very humid the water vapour contributes more, because there's more of it, if it's less humid the CO2 contributes more. It's a measurement per volume of air."

Yes basically if you remove all the CO2 from the atmosphere the infrared absorption drops by 9%. If you remove everything but CO2 it drops to 25%. So the contribution is between 9% and 25% but that's nothing to do with uncertainty, it's to do with the complexity of overlap.

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Happy

Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

"If this process is responsible for our freezing 8-month long british winters and soggy overcast summers, then it is a DISASTER!"

What it's actually saying is that actions in the tropics have an influence on polar ice sheets and they are being described as "unpredictible."

So it looks like the GCM's are not matching reality. But 1% of the last 2000 yrs matches last year, so it's unusual, but not that unusual, including lots of times that massively predate any kind of "industrialisation."

And AFAIK this years UK late onset "Summer" has more than a little to do with the jetstream shifting position.

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WTF?

Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

This, then, is the lack of clarity that plagues so much of global warming hysteria.

Just call it 16% and call it a day.

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@Tim

Please go ahead and try refuting "it would be surprising if burning all that fuel had zero effect" and all the data about CO2 released by the humanity into the atmosphere so far. One of the non-warming impact and all the "niceness" of it, it leads to the the so-called acidification of the oceans, a disaster, in particular, causing many species in the ocean to die, e.g., corals.

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Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

So if i get this right, of the infrared absorption that takes place (green house effect) the percentage of the effect attributed to CO2 varies from 9% to 25% depending on independent factors, such as water vapour. Do we surmise that ideally the infrared absorption of the atmosphere should be zero to avoid armageddon? if not then we need to know what percentage of the overall IR absorption is undesirable - or should we start drawing lots of misleading graphs that don't start from zero?

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Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

Anything that increases IR absorption will increase temperatures, so in that sense any increase is undesirable. As earth heats up, the increased temperature increases outgoing radiation, so at some point the energy radiated from earth matches incoming energy from the Sun and stable state is reached at a higher temperature.

Without feedbacks a doubling of CO2 concentration leads to about 1C increase. With feedbacks it is about 3C.

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Happy

Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

So you're not in the UK then!

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Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

You'll have been told the co2 drives the water, so it is an amplifier rather than a disregard able independent variable.

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FAIL

Re: Cold winters, Wet summers

"You do know CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas compared to DiHydrogen Monoxide ?"

And do you know that the atmosphere is saturated by H2O ? That the only way of getting more into the atmospehere is to raise the temperature?

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Anonymous Coward

@casaloco

It does have a huge impact on our response to the problem though

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Re: To be fair...

Indeed, but this last happened as recently as the 1830s, and I don't think sea levels were 40ft higher then.

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Re: To be fair...

How do you measure ?

Go to Victoria embankment - see how many times it's been raised in the last 100 years. No because of rising sea levels, but the sinking south east ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: To be fair...

There are many more than 24,000 excess people, so the deaths really don't matter. Human lives are not inherently valuable things.

However, you do make a point about wasted money - which should all be put into science, and building nuclear reactors so we have electricity, and free education for all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: To be fair...

so just kill yourself, your life may be worthless, but mine isn't

IDIOT

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Re: To be fair...

No, to be fair you'd have to include the following quote from Steig, which is included in the original but inexplicably didn't make it here:

"The same is not true for the Antarctic Peninsula, the part of the continent closer to South America, where rapid ice loss has been even more dramatic and where the changes are almost certainly a result of human-caused warming, Steig said."

In other words this 'article' is just lies, lies, lies, steaming lies, lies en croute, lies in a blanket, lies on toast, lies with a side order of spam, spam and lies, lies in space, and lies a la mode from El Reg.

As usual.

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Meh

Re: To be fair...

"Utopia" was a work of fiction.

As in not real.

You do understand that, right?

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Re: To be fair...

Its not lies. Its just selective. This is known as making a case to fit a certain point of view. Politicians, lawyers and journalists do this for various reasons, one being it winds up those who have the full facts. Well done, you bit.

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Re: To be fair...

I'm more surprised El Reg didnt mention the record ice growth

http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/record-arctic-ice-growth-in-2012-2013/

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Re: To be fair...

or ice is now back to 1989 levels

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/worth-more-than-a-thousand-words/

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Devil

Isn't Harrogate the highest town above sea level or something like that? I seem to recall in "The Kraken Wakes" that it gets redesignated the capital of the UK and becomes a lawless zone where everybody wants to live.

Maybe it's time to move to an isolate cottage in the Dales or Pennines, complete with nuclear bunker and a small arsenal to cope with the inevitable destruction of society....

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"Isn't Harrogate the highest town above sea level or something like that?"

No, I think it's some place in Bolivia or Tibet.

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That's arguably a somewhat optimistic headline. The reason they can't definitively say that this present warming is due to global warming is because they have evidence that 1% of the time, in the past in the last 2,000 years, something like this kind of melt has happened before... the other 99% of the time it hasn't. I'd be cautious about extrapolating from this that we can safely continues to add unprecedented levels of CO@ to our atmosphere,

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confidence

I think you are mis-understanding confidence testing in a very common way.

This experiment does nothing more than ask "is current Antarctic melting abnormal?"

The finding is that they are "confident" (this is a technical term in stats) that we have seen this before.

These results say nothing whatsoever about AGW.

If they had found the opposite (abnormal) it would lend support (not prove) to current AGW models.

The results basically state that we can't tell the difference between current and historical melting, in other words they found no evidence to support AGW as the cause of current melt levels.

This type of experiment is essential for science.

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climate disaster

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/04/10/1200602/-The-Antarctic-Half-of-the-Global-Thermohaline- Here's the real facts. Be concerned

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Anonymous Coward

Analogy

Using an astronomic analogy, still fresh in everybody's mind:

Meteors have been entering the earth atmosphere for billions of years. I hope this is a "consensus" for everyone except the most backward creationists around here.

Does it mean that we should not attempt to prevent a "really big one" to smash into the planet, now that we have sufficiently advanced technology to:

1. Recognize the problem

2. Do something about it

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Trollface

Re: Analogy

No I think a better analogy is:

"Meteors have been entering the earth atmosphere for billions of years." Therefore it is a difficult argument to convince us that the reason a meteor caused so much destruction recently is because little Jimmy didn't say his prayers one night before bed.

No-one is saying that the ice isn't melting (except in the Himalayas), nor are they saying that the meltwater could well cause a problem. What they are saying is that this does not appear to be an "unprecedented" situation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Analogy

@AC: Wasnt that the job of shamans with magical powers to make sacrifices to gods to appease the gods? Force slave labour to die in the service of the greater good building useless structures to please the almighty *deity* so they might have rain/crops/fewer natural disasters?

How far we have moved forward.

Your analogy is greatly flawed by the way. a meteor is a solid and definable object with a demonstrated and measurable impact which allows us to predict the damage it could cause. We hope we have the capacity to stop one but we are still looking to scifi (Armageddon) and old games (asteroids) for solutions. Solutions which are demonstrated by our regular use of missiles/projectiles and their effect upon the target.

Compared with a none solid nor definable object, only environmental changes and no reliable historic data of any significant timespan. Using the less reliable information we have we find the natural change from warm and cold periods. We have predictive models based on cherrypicked data and predetermined bias but nothing that has demonstrated a level of accuracy we can trust. We have absolute certainty but no demonstrated knowledge beyond 'we dont know'. The only solutions we have been offered are life threatening and extremely damaging to the natural world and a number of our species. There is a consensus but only among the few who agree with each other. And again we have science claiming to produce more facts, which would again change and redefine the problem. And again away from it being our fault.

A better analogy would be the die hard MMCC co2 theorists + deniers and cults. Everyone else is waiting for the science even if they already lean one way or the other.

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Re: Analogy

" a meteor is a solid and definable object with a demonstrated and measurable impact which allows us to predict the damage it could cause"

Uh no. There's a big difference between it landing in the sea vs on a city. It's just as uncertain to predict the exact impact of a meteor as it is to predict the impact of 3C global warming.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Analogy

@nom

"Uh no. There's a big difference between it landing in the sea vs on a city. It's just as uncertain to predict the exact impact of a meteor as it is to predict the impact of 3C global warming."

Eh? Bring back the goal posts please. We can measure the damage of impact of existing meteor strikes. This is because big rocks have been falling out of the sky for plenty time and we can actually measure (important sciency stuff). Yes it makes a difference if it hits land or water, city or rural but that is not what he discussed. And even then it is measurable and somewhat predictable.

I have to ask what this 3C warming is? What timescale with what configuration with what controls do we have over it. Which falls back to (bring the goal posts back) your unmeasurable cult of the 'we all damned'. I repeat the words-

"A better analogy would be the die hard MMCC co2 theorists + deniers and cults. Everyone else is waiting for the science even if they already lean one way or the other."

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Re: Analogy

It's a quantitative difference, not a qualitative one.

There's a climate meteor heading towards Earth if you will, we know it will hit, but we don't know where and what the impact will be. It could be potentially devastating, or it could splash into the sea with little damage.

Of course in the case of a real meteor heading for Earth, climate skeptics would probably argue the cost of mitigating a meteor is too high, plus we can't be sure it will even hit so it's better to just adapt to the impact (I am only half-joking).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Analogy

@nom

If a meteor is heading to earth and we are lucky enough to spot it we would have a whole list of maths, physics and clued up guys saying it will likely hit. Based on its speed/trajectory they will estimate a landing zone. Based on its size they will estimate what will hit the earth and what will burn up based on composition of what has come before. They will base any attempt to attack it on those calculations and if its big enough it could kill off the planet in theory.

The climate issue falls before it starts. Yes there will be a climate problem at some point. This is a huge area of every type of pollution known and unknown. This could be caused by us or naturally. And we may or may not be able to mitigate the effects at all. Yet you are not talking about this, not even close. What you are talking about is the big monster that only comes out at night and has only been seen by a few scared children who cant even agree what it looks like. Its existence has yet to be demonstrated never mind the cause. Not because it isnt potentially something that is real, but because it cant be distinguished from the natural events yet. Science has yet to catch up to the myth. Kinda like disproving gods. And in the same way everything can be taken as proof of the monster but nothing can disprove it because the goal posts constantly move (like when god(s) domains are disproved).

So the onus is on you cultists to prove something is there. I will not stand on some hill in france because you tell me your UFO is coming to pick me up as the world ends. If you cannot prove the existence of the problem then I will focus on problems I consider real. Ones that have been proven to exist. And like a meteor heading to earth I will take it more seriously. I repeat the words-

"A better analogy would be the die hard MMCC co2 theorists + deniers and cults. Everyone else is waiting for the science even if they already lean one way or the other."

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Re: Analogy

Perhaps you are not aware of the changes we are undertaking. The global geo-engineering project we are haphazardly performing. CO2 levels have recently shot through the roof, to highs not seen for millions of years at a rate untypical in Earth's history, and they are going to soar much higher if humans continue to burn through all the fossil fuels reserves we can.

Our infrastructure and the climate itself have great inertia. We can't just stop the ship the moment we see an iceberg coming. If we don't start turning this ship round now we commit ourselves to continuing the CO2 experiment much longer. In fact with an unrestrained grab for ever new fossil fuel sources such as shale oil to fulfill the energy appetite of our species, we are accelerating the ship into the fog.

Experts are screaming of the danger. They realize the significance of the sharp rises in GHGs. They've seen the picture painted by everything from back of envelope calculations to complex models to realize these rises will have a very likely chance of inducing a substantial impact on the planet. Fundamentally they realize that a care-not/burn-all strategy is a huge gamble.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Analogy

@Nom

Woo complex models. Shame they have little relation to the real world. You can talk of ships and icebergs but you still avoid the fact I have stated over and over. The cultists are certain, the science is yet to find the truth. It has yet to distinguish the natural order from the unnatural changes. It has yet to identify a problem.

I will wait for science

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